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Suspected gambling operations disrupted 07-23-12

Hawaiʻi Police Department
Vice Section, Area I
Lieutenant Burt Shimabukuro
Phone: 961-2253
Report No. C12018388


Media Release

Big Island police disrupted suspected gambling operations at three locations in Hilo.

Shortly before 2 p.m. Friday (July 20), Vice Section officers from Area I and Area II, Criminal Investigation Section Officers, Community Policing officers and South Hilo Patrol officers executed search warrants at Tilt Amusement Center, located at 111 E. Puainako Street, Da Little Game Shack, located at 165 E. Kawili Street, and 777 Arcade, located at 500 Manono Street. The execution of the search warrants was the result of an investigation using undercover officers and tips from the public, which helped corroborate suspected gambling activities at the above locations.

While executing the search warrants, officers seized 33 suspected illegal gambling machines, suspected gambling records, and large sums of cash.

Police arrested three employees on suspicion of promoting gambling. They were 47-year-old Paul Lagat of Keaʻau (from Tilt Amusement Center), 50-year-old Lance Yamada of Hilo (from 777 Arcade) and 39-year-old Serena Valenzuela of Pāhoa (from Da Little Game Shack). All three were later released pending further investigation.

“The Hawaiʻi Police Department thanks the public for providing tips and information that assisted police with the disruption of these suspected illegal gambling operations,” said Lieutenant Burt Shimabukuro from the Area I Vice Section.

Vice detectives are continuing the investigation.